A personal selection of photographs with their stories.
008: Rabelos, port wine boats
It is quite a romantic image: little boats, with a number of barrels on the decks, on the Douro River, with the Dom Luis Bridge behind. A typical view of Porto, world famous for the port wines produced there. The boats are called barco rabelo (rabelo=’little tail) and are typical for the transport of goods and passengers on the Douro River. Port wines, produced in the Douro Valley, were transported to Porto (neighboring Vila Nova da Gaia, at the other side of the Douro River, to be more precise) for storage and trade. The rabelo is a little extension at the rear of the boat, used for steering. For a long time, transport by rabelos was the fastest way of transport between the Douro Valley and Porto. Every year, on 24 June (St. John’s feast day), a rabelo race is held. Nowadays, the boats are also used for tourist acitivities, like boat tours.
© Adriano Antoine Robbesom 1999, 2001, 2003, 2017